The Torettos and friends search for a codebreaking device. More of the increasingly-interchangeable series: 150 minutes of soapy sentimentality, decent stuntwork, and terrible physics-worrying spectacle. Director Lin does what he can with the material tho, and there’s some fun moments from seasoned character actors like Shea Whigham.
A man on the run kills a preacher and assumes his identity in a new town. Stark, austere drama-thriller from the Damon Galgut novel, dealing with guilt, regret and inability to communicate. Great performances and a minimalist approach help, though the material and its handling may not be for all. Recommended, nevertheless.
A clown with mental health issues tries to be loved and recognised. Well-shot but superficial origin story, heavily reliant on its stylistic and plot inspirations (early Scorsese movies, Bernhard Goetz). Sometimes impressive, sometimes misguided, but anchored by a committed central performance nevertheless.
A satirical biopic of GW Bush’s vice-president Dick Cheney. Soberer than The Big Short, this thematic sequel offers an accessible overview of Cheney’s rise to silent power and his ultimate betrayal of himself. The film doesn’t get inside its protagonist, but is revelatory nevertheless.
Biopic of Neil Armstrong, from test pilot to Apollo 11 days. An impressionistic, oblique approach doesn’t really penetrate the subject, leaving Gosling free to offer another blank, introverted performance. Impressive rather than good, though with a sterling cast of character actors in support.
An ex-diplomat is recalled to Beirut to negotiate a hostage release. Generally smart thriller which downplays the geopolitics of the region and wisely focuses on multiple warring groups after the same prize. Solid direction and unshowy playing helps.
One night at a motel on the California/Nevada border, where no-one is who they appear to be. Twisty-turny self-conscious comedy-thriller; lots of fun if you go with it, though the movie’s stately pace may frustrate some.
A getaway driver finds himself in the middle of a double-cross. A lean, effective thriller that’s equal parts The Driver and Locke. Frank Grillo makes for a pleasingly ordinary protagonist. Shades of John Carpenter and Walter Hill throughout. Recommended.
A teenager finds a notebook with the power to compel a death-demon. Manga/J-horror Americanisation; effective if you go with its dream-logic (the Phantasm movies get a shout-out as a clue), with some good performances and strong direction from Wingard.